Course code CitiD001

Credit points 3

Preparation of scientific papers

Total Hours in Course48

Number of hours for lectures28

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes20

Date of course confirmation27.09.2011

Responsible UnitInstitute of Soil and Plant Science

Course developer

author Augsnes un augu zinātņu institūts

Zinta Gaile

Dr. agr.

Course abstract

Necessity to publish scientific papers, their diverse levels and citation are analyzed in the study course. Structure of scientific paper and meaning of separate sections are acquired: Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Abstract, and List of references. Data bases available in Fundamental Library of LLU. Effective tables and figures. Appropriate units of measurements. Scientific literature, references in text and preparation of References’ List, special computer programs for preparation of references and References’ List. Various demands set by different scientific journals. Reviewing. Preconditions for preparation of successful posters and oral reports.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Doctoral students acquire knowledge in importance of scientific papers’ publishing and inclusion into international data bases; SCI. They acquire IMRAD structure of scientific paper and diverse demands of various journals for preparation of scientific paper. Knowledge for successful preparation of posters and oral reports are given. 1st and 2nd independent task.
Skills. Doctoral students are able to write separate sections of scientific paper in accordance to set conditions, and to include into section appropriate to title content. They are able to prepare effective tables and figures. Students know how to use scientific literature, to make references into text and to prepare list of references. They are able to present research results orally. 1st and 2nd independent task.

As a result, doctoral students are competent to prepare scientific papers according to concrete set up regulations, as well as to prepare report for conference. They are competent to lead section work in scientific conference. 1st and 2nd independent task.

Course plan

1. The role of scientific information in the society and in the development of scientific research. Different forms of scientific papers: original papers, short communications, scientific reviews, research in science history and problem-related articles. Primary and secondary scientific sources; other literature. The differences in the content, form of expression and layout in popular, popular-scientific and scientific papers.
2. Access to scientific information by using the data bases accessible at LLU Fundamental Library.
3. Content and tasks of the separate sections in the overall context of scientific papers. Creation of paper title. Abstract and its content. Key words.
4. Introduction of the paper, its content and connectivity to the rest of the manuscript. Scientific verities of other researchers and hypothesis substantiation. The research aim formulation.
5. The description of the research methodology – one of the most important sections in a scientific paper. The description of research object and substantiation of its choice. The applied methods of observations and analyses and used equipment, their precision. The description of research conditions. The methods used in the evaluation of credibility.
6. Results, their evaluation and interpretation.
7. The requirements in tables’ and figures’ layout. The use of International System of Units in results’ description. References of result credibility evaluation in the text, in tables and figures.
8. The overall evaluation of research results under specific environmental or other conditions, their comparison to verities by other authors: discussion.
9. Conclusions’ conformity to the specific research described in the text and the reflection of the essence of acquired knowledge.
10. Scientific writing style. Avoidance from scientific jargon, euphemisms, text embellishments.
11. References to works by other authors in the text, the most popular variants of their recording, their advantages and disadvantages.
12. The List of Literature. Overall requirements and different instructions of various editorial boards. Inclusion of information from the Internet into the List of Literature. Computer programs for preparation of Reference List (e.g. Mendeley)
13. Plagiarism: how to avoid it. Control of plagiarism in Doctoral Thesis and submitted scientific papers. Permissions to use published figures, tables or other materials.
14. Various requirements of different scientific journals and conference proceedings in the preparation of scientific papers.
15. Main principles of preparation and presentation of oral and poster reports in conferences. Conference session management.

16. Seminar – session of imitated scientific conference – practical oral reporting on scientific results.

Requirements for awarding credit points

For passing the test students have to
• Participate in lectures as much as possible (75% attendance). Requirement of 75% lecture attendance can be reviewed, if the study course “Preparation of research reports” has been learned before during Master studies.
• To prepare an oral report and to present it.

• To prepare and to discuss the scientific paper with the teacher.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

• To prepare and to present an oral presentation: two options:
1. Simulated conference at the end of the course when also evaluation from audience is received – it helps to understand how the speaker is perceived by the audience and how to further improve the reporting skills.
2. Annual International conference “Research for Rural Development” – oral report in English, credit received, no evaluation from audience.
3. The 3rd alternative can be granted in exceptional cases when course in English is studied by one or two Ph. D. students – possibility to prepare the poster.
• Scientific paper to be prepared – when there is something to write about, but according the yearly plan of doctoral student, and only unpublished article is handed in for the credit; two options:
1. Preferred option: article for the Proceedings “Research for Rural Development”

2. Paper can be prepared also for other journal, but for one cited in SCOPUS or Thomson Reuters Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics), or other data base of this level.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

All the requirements mentioned in section „Requirements for awarding credit points” have to be accomplished. Final assessment is developed accumulatively.
• Participation in lectures makes up to 10% of final assessment.
• Oral report makes up to 30% of final assessment.
• Prepared and discussed with teacher scientific article makes up to 60% of final assessment.

Student has to obtain at least 90% for passing a test.

Compulsory reading

1. Alley M. (1996). The Craft of Scientific Writing. 3rd edition. Springer, New York, 282 p.
2. Cargill M., O’Connor P. (2009). Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, 173 p.
3. Davis M. (1997). Scientific Papers and Presentations. Academic Press, San Diego, 296 p.
4. Day A. (2010). How to Get Research Published in Journals. 2nd Edition. Gower, Farnham, Surrey, England; Burlington, VT, 140 p.
5. Day R.A., Gastel B. (2006). How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper. Sixth Edition. Cambridge University Press, New York, USA, 302 p.
6. Emden J. van (2005). Palgrave Study Skills. Writing for Engineers. 3rd Edition. Palgrave Macmillan, UK, 148 p.
7. Gustavii B. (2008). How to Write and Illustrate a Scientific Paper. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK; New York, USA, 168 p.
8. Hames I. (2007). Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals. Guidelines for Good Practice. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, USA, 293 p.
9. Hofmann A.H. (2010). Scientific Writing and Communication: Papers, Proposals, and Presentations. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford, 682 p.
10. Matthews J.R., Matthews R.W. (2008). Successful scientific writing: a step-by-step guide for biological and medical sciences. 3rd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, New York, 240 p.
11. Mitra B.K. (2011). Effective Technical Communication. A Guide for Scientists and Engineers. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, India, 224 p.

12. Zinātniskā rakstīšana un pētījumu rezultātu izplatīšana (2018). Red. K. Martinsone un A. Pipere. Rīgas Stradiņa universitāte, Rīga, 301 lpp.

Further reading

1. Bloch J. (2012). Plagiarism, Intellectual Property and the Teaching of L2 Writing. New Perspectives on Language and Education. Multilingual Matters, Bristol, Buffalo, Toronto, 188 p.
2. Eko U. (2006). Kā uzrakstīt diplomdarbu. Jāņa Rozes apgāds, Rīga, 314 lpp.
3. Holliday A. (2007). Doing and Writing Qualitative Research. 2nd Edition. SAGE, London, 199. p.

4. Kumar R. (2005). Research methodology: a step-by-step guide for beginners. 2nd edition. SAGE, London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, 332 p.

Periodicals and other sources

1. International System of Units (Le Systeme Internatio-nal d’Unites). Available at: http://physics. nist.
2. Mērvienību noteikumi: LR MK noteikumi Nr. 1186. 2013. gada 29. oktobrī. Pieejami:
3. Notes for presentation of successful manuscripts (1992). Arid Soil Research and Rehabilitation. Volume 6. pp. 173–175.

4. Zinātnisko žurnālu un citu izdevumu norādījumi manuskriptu sagatavošanai.


Voluntary study course for all the Ph. D. programmes in LLU. Test.